The Brussels View of Brexit

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Publication Date May 2019
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The conduct of the British political class has eroded much of the goodwill that European politicians and officials felt towards the UK. If the British wish to avoid no deal by asking for further extensions they should avoid losing the remaining goodwill that still lingers in certain capitals. It would help if the British government came clean with the British people about the inevitable trade-offs that Brexit involves; if the UK sent ministers to Brussels who knew a little about how the EU works; and if British politicians avoided playing to the gallery at home with gratuitous insults (such as Johnson’s comparison of the EU and Nazi Germany, or Jeremy Hunt’s comparison of the EU and the Soviet Union). Best of all, the EU would like the British government to have a plan for getting the UK out of the mess it is in. If the government said that it needed more time in order to take a new approach to Brexit, or organise a general election or referendum, the EU would almost certainly extend Article 50.


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Cardif EDC: News: Political turmoil in the United Kingdom following the conclusion of withdrawal agreement and political declaration on post-Brexit relationship

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Centre for European Reform: CER Insight:, February 2019: Can the UK Extend the Brexit Deadline?

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